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Fun Facts about the Eastern Indigo Snake

Fun Facts about the Eastern Indigo Snake

Florida is full of beautiful, marshy landscapes and the creatures that inhabit the land, sea, and sky. We have some of the most interesting creatures in the United States thanks to our Everglades, and we’re responsible for protecting and bringing awareness about them to others. This includes our protected species, such as the Eastern Indigo Snake.

Is the eastern indigo snake venomous?

Let’s just get this out of the way – no, they are not venomous. Eastern Indigo Snakes rarely bite humans. But they do bite prey, enemies, and occasionally males will fight each other in aggressive situations. The indigo snake is considered harmless, but is a protected species you can not handle without a permit. Not that most necessarily want to handle a snake…

The Eastern Indigo Snake Is the Longest Snake in North America

Identified by its beautiful blue-black sheen, this species is now native to peninsular Florida and southeast Georgia. The females can reach up to 6.5 ft long and males up to 8.5 ft. While their size can be impressive, they are most often between 5-6 ft. long.

Eastern Indigo Snakes Eat Other Venomous Snakes

Yes, that’s right. The eastern indigo snake overpowers its often larger prey with muscular jaws, consuming them head first. The indigo snake has a diet of lizards, tortoises, mammals, frogs, birds, and other venomous snakes. It has been observed that the Indigo snake appears to be immune to the poison of venomous snakes.

The Best Place to see an Eastern Indigo Snake Is the Everglades

Although the Indigo snake is now listed as a threatened species because of dramatic decline in population – due to over-collecting by domestic and international pet trade – it can still be found in the Everglades! Preservations of these habitats is the best assurance of survival for the indigo snake.

You May See an Eastern Indigo Snake on an Everglades Airboat Tour in Fort Lauderdale

Although as a protected species, the chances of seeing an Indigo are slimmer than an Alligator. But keep your eyes peeled on tour! There’s a good chance you’ll see one on your next airboat tour of the Everglades. Are you ready to get closer to nature than you’ve ever been? Call Cypress Outdoor Adventures today at (954) 260-1096, or secure your spot online for an Everglades airboat ride of a lifetime!

Fun Facts About the American Alligator

Florida is full of beautiful, marshy landscapes and the creatures that inhabit by land, sea, and sky. We have some of the most interesting creatures in the United States thanks to our Everglades, and we’re responsible for protecting and bringing awareness about them to others. No matter where you’re from, if you love animals like we do, you haven’t yet lived until you get up close and personal with a 10-foot alligator!

The American Alligator is the Largest Reptile in North America

American alligators are native to—you guessed it— the southern United States. They are the largest of the reptilians, with their males growing up to nearly 10 feet in length and weighing up to 500 pounds. Female alligators are certainly no joke either at nearly 9 feet in length and weighing up to 200 pounds. You certainly wouldn’t want to tussle with a gator, that’s for sure. From a safe-enough distance away that the alligator feels you’re no threat to his home or nest, they are quite a sight to behold, swimming around the water like they own the place—because let’s face it, at 500 pounds they do!

American Alligators Can’t Sing a Note

While it’s not certain the American alligator couldn’t have a great singing voice, they unfortunately have no vocal chords. Instead, they communicate by creating deep bellows and roars. Depending on which, they can attract a mate or warn other alligators that they’re getting too close to their territory.

The Best Place to See an American Alligator is in the Florida Everglades

Even though American alligators roam throughout Louisiana, South Carolina, Alabama, and Texas, there’s only one place in the U.S. that can boast being number one hot spot in the count – the Florida Everglades. It is the best place to go when you’re looking for some good ol’ fashioned alligator watching.

Due to draining of their natural environments, you’d really have to keep your eyes peeled and hope luck’s on your side anywhere but Florida. Come ride across the Everglades, and watch them grow and thrive in their true natural habitat.

You May See an American Alligator on an Airboat Tour of the Everglades

Over 1.25 million of our nation’s 5 million alligators live in Florida alone, which is one of the reasons why these massive prehistoric creatures are the official Florida state reptile. This means there’s a great chance you’ll get to spot an alligator on your next airboat tour of the Everglades. Are you ready to get closer to nature than you’ve ever been? Call Cypress Outdoor Adventures today at (954) 260-1096, or secure your spot online for an Everglades airboat ride of a lifetime!

Fun Facts About the American Alligator
Are Airboat Tours Safe in the Everglades?

Are Airboat Tours Safe in the Everglades?

If you’ve heard about how much fun airboat swamp tours are, you’ve definitely heard about the exciting wildlife we encounter and how close to nature we become. Feeling a little nervous about getting up close and personal with an alligator? Not quite sure about gliding over the glades at sunset? We perform tours of the Everglades every day and can attest to the safety of our boats, our crew, and the nature of your next airboat tour in Fort Lauderdale.

Airboat Tours Are Safe for Kids of All Ages

Fort Lauderdale alligator tours are fun and safe for everyone, from toddlers to great-grandparents. While our big airboat fan can be a little loud, it’s nothing that a pair of ear plugs can’t fix. Passengers may feel like they’re flying across the glades with the wind in their faces, but our boats actually don’t exceed 40 mph. In order to take in the full experience, we make sure to go as slowly as needed so we don’t scare away nearby wildlife.

Sunset Tours of the Everglades are just as safe as Daytime Tours

Scared of the dark? There’s nothing to be afraid of! There’s a variety of nocturnal animals such as gators and panthers that we can safely observe from a distance. A sunset tour allows you the chance to encounter wildlife you wouldn’t normally see during the day.

Our Everglades Airboats are Regularly Maintained and Inspected

The safety of our passengers and crew is our top priority. Properly maintaining our boats is essential to safely traversing the swamps of Fort Lauderdale, day or night. We guarantee each airboat is regularly inspected and kept up to code by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

We Maintain a Safe Distance from American Alligators and Other Wildlife in the Everglades

Alligator sightings are a huge part of the excitement of our Everglades airboat tours. We get just as excited as our passengers to see gators and other wildlife on our tours, but we are professionals with plenty of experience keeping a safe distance. Alligators don’t pay any mind when strangers pass by, as long as we maintain a respectful amount of space between us.

US Coast Guard Certified, Captain Bill Makes your Airboat Ride as Safe and Exciting as Possible

Put your trust in Captain Bill to make your adventure an experience to remember. As a USCG certified captain, he safely operates your tour boat for an enjoyable time on the water. Ready to face your fears and have a wonderful time doing so? Call us today at 954-260-1096 to reserve your seat, or book online now!

Top 3 Reasons to Take a Sunset Tour of the Everglades

Whether it’s your first time in Fort Lauderdale or you visit frequently, there are always many new wonders to discover in the area. If you’ve never experienced an airboat tour of the Everglades, it’s about time you did! If you’re still on the fence or need another reason to get started scheduling your tour, take a look at these top three reasons to take a beautiful sunset tour of the Everglades.

Reason #1: A Once-In-a-Lifetime Experience

Have you ever wanted to go hang gliding, skydiving, or rock climbing? Airboating is another thrill you need to experience at least once in this life. Gliding across the water, we can reach speeds up to 40 miles per hour. An airboat tour gives you an up close and personal view of wildlife you would never get on land. You get to see the glades as the animals themselves see the area.

This offer you a true eco tour that gives off virtually no pollution, unlike a motor tour boat. Party with friends and family or take a private tour with our experienced guide, Captain Bill, down the coast.

Reason #2: Wildlife You Can Only Find Here

The Florida Everglades is home to several species of plants and trees native only to wetlands as well as endangered animal species. It houses the Florida panther, the American alligator, the snail kite, and the wood stork, to name a few. With an eco-friendly airboat tour, sailing across the still waters at dusk you can become closer to nature than you’ve ever been before.

The thrill of spotting a lurking croc or gator, or a far-off bobcat on the coast, is better than any thrill you’ll get from visiting your local zoo. Touring with Cypress Outdoor Adventures gives you a unique perspective on the area, as Captain Bill has been studying the Everglades since he was a boy.

Reason #3: Watching the Sun Set on the Everglades

While you’re keeping your eyes peeled for creatures that come out to dine at dusk, don’t forget to take in the scenery around you as the sun touches ground. Sunset is the most beautiful time of day to be out on the water. In a heart-stopping moment you’ll spot nighttime dwellers feeding right near your boat! But nothing compares to the orange-filled sky reflecting on the water and the silhouette of the glades at twilight.

If you still aren’t convinced after this, just take a drive by the Everglades at dusk and see exactly what you’re missing! Though you won’t get the full experience of a sunset airboat tour, it will be enough to make you want to explore much more. Call USCG certified captain, Bill Ferris today at 954-260-1096 to book your sunset tour. Be sure to ask about our day tours and bow fishing tours as well!

Top 3 Reasons to Take a Sunset Tour of the Everglades
Best Way to See the Everglades Near Fort Lauderdale

Best Way to See the Everglades Near Fort Lauderdale

It’s no secret that Florida is one of the most sought-after vacation spots in the United States. However, with tourists flocking to Disney World, Epcot, or one of the many crowded and commercialized beaches, you may want to retreat to the quietness of the nearby Everglades. Fortunately for you, it is home to some of the most fragile, nearly-undisturbed areas for you to develop a deep appreciation for these natural habitats.

Florida Everglades Tourism

Whether you live near the Florida Everglades or are just visiting for a week or two, a visit is a must for a unique natural and educational experience. This is home to numerous species of wildlife, including endangered birds, fish, alligators and crocodiles, turtles, and even the rare Florida panther. In addition to incredible animals, the sawgrass in the Everglades hosts many different ecosystems including endangered plants.

The Best Way to View the Everglades is on an Airboat Ride

There are many ways to immerse yourself in the beauty of the Everglades. Though some areas can be enjoyed on foot, by bike, or by canoe or kayak, the shallow habitats home to some of the most incredible species are best explored on an airboat.

Airboat tours are great for many reasons. One of those reasons is the ability to share your intriguing ride with fellow voyagers. Since airboats are able to accommodate a small group of explorers, they are perfect for friends or family airboat tour adventures.

What is an Airboat?

Airboating is a popular ecotourism attraction in the Everglades. They are commonly used in shallow, marshy areas due to their flat bottoms and aircraft-like propeller. Traditional boats with a submerged propeller are unable to navigate these shallow areas.

Airboats are a safer way to maneuver through these fragile ecosystems because they hover on top of the water, posing less risk to the wildlife below. Their unique design also helps to keep passengers at a safe distance from unpredictable wildlife.

What to Expect on an Airboat Tour Through the Everglades

Many experienced tourists describe their airboat tour as thrilling, like an amusement ride through nature. Licensed by the United States Coast Guard (USCG), Captain Bill is a trained professional who knows the ins and outs of the area. He is committed to giving you the most educational and fun airboat rides possible.

Though not guaranteed, explorers are highly likely to see many different animal and wildlife species. You will definitely see new and intriguing sights, learn a lot of fun facts about the area, and have an unforgettable journey  with Captain Bill! Call Cypress Outdoor Adventures at 954-260-1096 today, or book one of our airboat rides online.

Why You Should Go Bowfishing in the Everglades

Bowfishing and the Florida Everglades are a match made in heaven for those who enjoy fishing and exploring the great outdoors. A 1.5 million acre wetland preserve is ideal for fishing as this slow-moving grassy river is teeming with fish. The waters are deep enough to allow for access to larger fish while shallow enough to use a bow and arrow as a method of catching fish.

Sunset Tours Allow You to Experience the Uniqueness of the Florida Everglades

The Everglades is unlike any other natural habitat in North America. It is part tropics and part forest, combing plant and animal species from the United States as well as the West Indies. Home to the Florida panther, American alligator, and plants including arching palm trees, the Everglades host a variety of unique flora and fauna. Freshwater and saltwater fish call the area home.

A private sunset boat tour allows you to experience the best of day and night life of the Everglades. As the sky darkens and night falls, a whole new experience unfolds before your eyes. Nocturnal species unseen in the daytime can be viewed in their natural habitats.

Bowfishing Tours Offer Enjoyable Hunting Experience on Modern Show Vessel

Bowfishing can be traced back thousands of years, as nearly all coastal cultures throughout history have relied on fish as food staple. As modern bowfishers on an air boat, you are able to fish in comfort and style No sacrificing any modern conveniences on an airboat tour in the Everglades; we use the latest high-tech equipment including short recurve bows and bright halide lights that allow you to see deep into the water without letting the fish know you’re there.

Bowfishing Tour Guide in the Everglades

A tour guide is essential when bowfishing in the Everglades, not only to learn about the unique plants and animals, but also ensure you do not disturb the natural ecosystems. As home to over 700 types of non-native living things, only invasive species including blue tilapia and other non-native wildlife should be hunted. Hunters can wreak major havoc on the biological order of the area when attempting to fish without experienced guides.

A USCG certified master captain, Captain Bill gives bow fishers an experience to remember. Having grown up in the Everglades, he has been exploring the vast wonders of the area for decades. He shares his vast amount of knowledge with your party as he navigates. His love and respect for nature allows him to protect the local habitat while giving tours.

Make memories with your friends and family on a bowfishing trip in the Everglades. Call Captain Bill today at (954) 260-1096, or book your fishing adventure online.

Why You Should Go Bowfishing in the Everglades
Everglades National Park: Unique Beauty That Needs Protected

Everglades National Park: Unique Beauty That Needs Protected

Also known as the River of Grass, the Florida Everglades is indeed a slow-moving river that feeds into the Florida Bay. Visited by about 1 million people every year, the Everglades National Park was established in 1934 to help preserve the precious ecosystem in the area.

Why the Everglades is Unique

The Everglades National Park is currently the tenth largest park in America, and it is the biggest tropical wildernesses in the country. It is very interesting and unique in many ways. Over 340 species of flora and fauna co-exist in the park area; 120 types of trees serve as homes for 16 classes of birds such as the great egret and the roseate spoonbill. The Florida Panther, the most endangered species in the Everglades, and many other animals call the it home.

Over half of the park is covered in water or swampland, and there is both fresh water and salt water. In this area of Southern Florida, there are only two seasons – winter, or the dry season, and summer, the wet season. During the dry season, wildfires in the Everglades are common. Though they may seem harmful, wildfires are beneficial as they serve to protect and maintain the ecosystems in the prairies and pinelands.

Why Protecting the Everglades Is So Important

Home to a diverse ecosystem that includes everything from microscopic bacteria to the American Alligator, Everglades National Park hosts 30 species that appear on federal threatened and endangered lists. To help preserve these species that rely on the swampland’s for survival, the area must be protected.

Water supply from the Everglades serves 1 in 3 Floridians. That’s approximately 8 million people that depend on the wetlands for drinking water and other household needs. Without protection, a huge burden would be placed on other water systems.

There is also an aesthetic benefit to protecting the Everglades, as the beauty of nature holds value. In addition to inspiring the literary works of Thoreau and other authors, nature leads to advancements in science. Humankind has invented ways to fly, improved upon how ships sail, and developed many other innovations based on how plants and animals operate in nature.

Rescuing the Everglades

Only about half its original size, the Everglades covered nearly 3 million acres at one point in time. Canals and dams built to develop land near the park have diverted much of the water that previously flowed in and ou , drastically reducing its size.

Conservation efforts began in the 1960s and continue to this day. The Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, and other legislation has helped to preserve what is left of the natural wonder. The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) and other conservationists work to ensure that laws that protect the area are enacted and enforced. Improving levels of phosphorus and other vital nutrients and correcting water diversion so the region receives the amount of water it needs are top priorities, in addition to protecting endangered wildlife.

Let Captain Bill take you up close and personal with the unique beauty of the Florida Everglades on an airboat tour in Fort Lauderdale. Our private adventures take you through the backcountry to see the American Alligator and other species native to the Florida Everglades. Call us today at (954) 260-1096 or book your adventure online.

Alligator Tour Airboat Rides

We’ve all studied about alligators back in school. However, what we learn is mostly elementary. There’s a lot more they havethan what we’ve been told. To help out with your curiosity, we’ve compiled a list of interesting alligator facts. Take a look!

They Cry

Ever hear of the expression “crocodile tears or alligator tears”? Well, if you have, you know what it means. In a nutshell, it refers to false tears. Where do you think the inspiration for this expression came from? Well, it obviously came from the actual fact that alligators shed tears. However, these tears are shed purely for the purpose of moisturizing and cleaning, hence, the association with fake crying.

Alligators Are Found Only in 2 Locations across the Globe

According to what is known so far, they have appeared over 30 million years ago and they are found only 2 regions around the world.

First, we have the American alligator, which is found in the southern part of the USA. This includes everything from North Carolina to Texas.

Then, we have the Chinese Alligator, which is found in the region that runs along Eastern China’s Yangtze River. Chinese alligators are shy and don’t often reveal themselves. Plus, the rapid progress in that region has led to a drop in their numbers as well. So, it’s harder to spot the now.

American alligators are larger than their Chinese counterparts. For example, the average American alligator can grow up to 13 feet and weigh almost 800 pounds. The Chinese alligator, on the other hand, doesn’t cross 7 feet and reaches a maximum weight of 300 pounds.

Now that you know a thing or two about alligators, we’re pretty sure you would want to see them up close. But, how can one do that, you ask? Well, it’s quite simple really. All you need to do is sign up for an alligator tour. It is basically an airboat tours that take you through the swamps, marshes and mangroves of the Everglades to get you as close as possible to real alligators.

You get to see alligators in the natural habitat; untamed and wild! It’s an experience that you’re sure to remember.

 

Alligator Tour Airboat Rides
Everglades History

Everglades History

There is more to the Florida Everglades then just alligators and airboat tours. The Florida Everglades has a deep historical and cultural heritage that goes back many generations. There are many interesting facts about the Florida Everglades you may not know.

The first people to inhabit the Florida Everglades where the Casula Indians who settled back in 10,000 BC. The place they called home is what we now call the Everglades National Park. Archaeologists found many artifacts spread throughout the area. These Indians thrived here until early settlers in the 1700s brought disease and basically wiped out these Indians.

South Florida did not have any settlements until the end of the 19th-century, and at that time the only three established areas were Chokoloskee, Flamingo and Cape Sable.  Many of these areas where only accessible by boat and the settlers depended on trading with other areas such as Tampa, and Key West.

The people that settled this area were known as Gladesmen. They survive by living off the land and learning how to navigate through the dense marsh. They learned how to hunt, trap, and fish to feed their families. They learned the different weather patterns to understand when an approaching storm was coming so they can take shelter.

Many people think of the Florida Everglades as a stagnant swamp; however it is called the River Of Grass because it is a river. The water moves from north to south starting near the Kissimmee river near Orlando. Even though the water moves very slow it is moving. That’s why you will notice on your airboat tour when you look over the side of the boat that the water is crystal clear. But there is a lot going underneath you as well. The water will seep into the ground where we have many aquifers, and caverns that allow the water to flow underneath you.

It was not until 1929 that people living in South Florida began building levees in an attempt to drain the Everglades into valuable farmlands. When this began to take place cities like Clewiston and Moorehaven that are south of Lake Okeechobee popped up and began to thrive. From that point on this diverse ecosystem began to face man-made challenges that threatened its existence

Burmese Python Non-Native Species of the Everglades

The Florida Everglades was an untouched paradise until settlers arrived in the early 19th century. Which their arrival they brought new non-native species of animals and plants. Many of these species have flourished in this delicate ecosystem. Today the Florida wildlife commission has many plants, mammals, and reptiles that are all listed as established non-native, or invasive species.

One of the most widely known invasive reptiles is the Burmese python; which became established in the early 1980s. Many of my clients ask me when we are on tour how did the snakes get here? I explain that there was a breeding facility that was destroyed during hurricane Andrew in 1992, but the snakes were in the area before then and in many cases it is because of the exotic pet trade. In many cases you can acquire permits to own exotic animals and keep them in your home, some animals didn’t need permits at all.

In many instances some of these animals were able to break free of their enclosures and escape. Sometimes the pet owners were no longer able to take care of them so they wanted to set them free and live a happy life. People have let these animals go and they have made their way into the Florida Everglades.

For animals such as the Burmese python and Boa Constrictors, the Florida Everglades offers an amazing habitat for them. They can disappear into the vast marshes and survive easily. These animals are masters of camouflage and stealth. The animal can lay very still and when prey is close it will quickly strike and wrap itself around the animal constricting it until it dies. Even for a large animal it can dislocate the hinges of his jaw and begin swallowing the animal whole. Sometimes the snake wins, sometimes the gator wins.

There have been documented cases of pythons swallowing gators. Aerial photography from helicopters has shown large snakes laying out on a bed of sawgrass with a very large gator in its belly. Up until the 1980s the American alligator was the top predator in the Florida Everglades. It appears that those days are gone.

With the introduction of these invasive snakes, gators are now on their menu as well as birds, turtles, and fish. In an effort to try and control the outbreak of the snakes there have been special hunts designated to try and catch and kill these animals. With the vast territory of the Florida Everglades it is my opinion that these hunts will not even put a dent in the situation. The snakes are now listed as a conditional species in Florida and can no longer be acquired as pets in the state. You are no longer allowed to transport the snakes across state lines.

The snakes are not only contained to South Florida. There have been snakes found moving north west through the state indicating that they were released or escaped pets.

These animals are potentially dangerous to humans as well. Since these python can grow up to lengths of 20 feet, and lay as many as 30 to 40 eggs per year; we are talking about a very dangerous animal that can cause a lot of harm to our environment and potentially human life.

At this moment researchers estimate the numbers to be between 30,000 and upwards of 300,000 pythons that likely occupy South Florida, which is just another way of saying they have no idea. However, between 2000 and 2011 almost 1800 pythons were removed from the Everglades national Park and surrounding areas.

Burmese Python Non-Native Species of the Everglades